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The Rosslyn skyline and Arlington National Cemetery at sunset (staff Photo by Jay Westcott)

After more than a decade and nearly 500 articles, one of our longest-running columns, Startup Monday, is ending — at least for now.

Since 2013, ARLnow has profiled scrappy entrepreneurs with thoughtful ideas and new businesses at every stage of a startup’s life cycle, from raising a seed investment fundraising round to landing on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies to outgrowing the “startup” descriptor when they merge, get acquired or list their shares on a stock exchange.

Through the column, written by ARLnow staff and supported by longtime sponsor Monday Properties, we have covered some companies before they made it big. Profiled when it was just five years old, today, Privia Health is publicly traded on the stock market. Once a small outfit out of Rosslyn, PerformYard — founded to disrupt how HR is managed — moved to Ballston, nabbed $95 million and celebrated its revenue growing by five times in the last four years.

A few had brilliant strokes of luck: Zoobean, which nabbed a coveted investment from outgoing Shark Tank shark Mark Cuban, is still going strong and still headquartered in Arlington. Since Cuban’s investment, the company ended its subscription service, renamed itself Beanstack and now focuses on partnering with libraries and offering software solutions that motivate kids to read.

ARLnow covered Ballston food tech startup HUNGRY when it launched in 2016 and long before its founders, brothers Shayan and Eman Pahlevani, scored major celebrity investors including actress Issa Rae and NFL player DeAndre Hopkins, along with scores of other performers, TV show hosts and major athletes.

Other Startup Monday subjects never went national but cemented themselves in Arlington. Sol Schott’s Columbia Pike bakery, ACME Pie Company, is a household name for locals and the baker is still thinking of ways to expand his brand — most recently getting in on the ground floor of a membership-based arcade business located inside his shop.

Amid these success stories, dozens of other companies never gained the same traction and were integrated into other platforms or sold to larger companies.

There were amusing and serious Kickstarter campaigns — among them, for an urban planning-themed take on “Cards Against Humanity” and a phone-based breathalyzer. Attempts to disrupt the landscaping and tailoring industries, in the style of ride-sharing app Uber, struggled to take off.

Such is the fate that every entrepreneur with an idea risks tempting when they get started, however.

Startup Monday was able to have that breadth of coverage thanks to a sponsorship agreement that gave ARLnow free rein to select who to profile. We could give equal weight to bright ideas such as portable cup holders for airplane and to to businesses solving entrenched problems in health care, including the physician-patient experience in women’s health or gaps in comprehensive diabetes care.

This column also became an unofficial history of the changes Arlington’s local economy has experienced. After thousands of Dept. of Defense workers left major office buildings in the 2010s, Arlington rebranded itself as a tech hub, especially in the wake of the arrival of Amazon, with a particularly strong presence of cybersecurity and defense-oriented startups, securing planes and trains and military installations and power plants.

ARLnow thanks Monday Properties for the long-standing partnership and the hundreds of stories of startup successes and failures — including, in a fitting final installation, today’s story of a new beginning for veterans of a long-shuttered game company.

There’s a chance that Startup Monday makes a return down the road, but for now the column is signing off. While we might not be able to chronicle it on a weekly basis, the march of innovation locally — at the smallest local startups to Arlington’s more established tech firms — continues unabated.

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring Three Ballston Plaza

Like the setting of its game, “Dark Age of Camelot,” Mythic Entertainment was a game studio of another semi-legendary time in the industry.

In true Arthurian fashion, Ballston-based Loric Games sets out to restore that legacy at a time when gaming needs it most.

Fairfax-based developer Mythic Entertainment worked on groundbreaking multiplayer games like “Dark Age of Camelot,” “Warhammer Online” and “Ultima Online,” and assisted with the criminally underrated “Dragon Age II” before shutting down in 2015.

Loric Games, based out of the Industrious coworking space in Ballston, is a new studio founded by former Mythic Entertainment leaders. The studio recently raised $4 million in funding to work on a game that CEO Brian Johnson says combines some of the best of Mythic’s narrative-led multiplayer experiences with gameplay of the popular sandbox role-playing game subgenre.

Even before closing its doors a decade ago, some developers from Mythic’s round table drifted apart, taking on their own quests. Johnson launched cybersecurity startup DivvyCloud — later acquired by Rapid7. Others worked on different games. New Loric chief production officer Jeff Hickman, became an executive producer for Bioware, overseeing ongoing development, or live services, after “Star Wars: The Old Republic” was developed.

After a few years, Johnson said he and co-founder Rob Denton started to get back together and talk about books and games.

“We were like, ‘Well, you sold a company and I sold a company; why don’t we give it a shot,'” Johnson said.

Mythic Entertainment veterans caught wind of their new enterprise, decided to join their quest, and now comprise half of the studio.

“We didn’t set out with the intent of getting a bunch of Mythic people back together,” said Johnson. “We set out to get back to our roots, back to smaller game [development] with a 20-30 person team, to make a meaningful game that can push the boundaries.”

Loric Games development team (staff photo by Vernon Miles)Loric Games development team (staff photo by Vernon Miles)

Many of those who stayed in game development felt they were stagnating on formulaic projects, Johnson said.

“This was an opportunity to get back to what made us passionate,” Johnson said.

Loric Games is keeping its cards close to its chest on some of the details of its new project, including the name and the setting, but an official announcement will come sometime around the Game Developers Conference in March.

The game will have an early access period — a stage where a polished but unfinished build is available for players to test — with a launch targeted sometime in the next year. That’s the goal, but Johnson noted “it is the game industry” and those timelines can be slippery.

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring Three Ballston Plaza

(Updated at 9:45 a.m. on 2/6/24) A private equity firm has partnered with Arlington-born juice and smoothie bowl shop South Block in a deal that will help the local chain advance its plans to add dozens of locations up and down the East Coast.

South Block owner and founder Amir Mostafavi will stay on as CEO post-acquisition, per a press release announcing the deal. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Mostafavi tells ARLnow he calls this deal a “strategic growth partnership,” as he and the whole South Block team will stay on while Savory Fund will help with its plans to reach 50 locations from the Mid-Atlantic up to the Northeast. The investment fund will also help with business operations, including human resources, finance and accounting, marketing, legal and facilities management.

“First and foremost, we have a great team at South Block already, a great foundation to build on,” Mostafavi said. “We’re excited about growing the business… My team is going to work alongside them and gain knowledge and experience as we’re building our team up in South Block, as we’re continuing to grow.”

South Block Owner Amir Mostafavi in Rosslyn (courtesy of Amir Mostafavi)

Savory’s Managing Partner and Co-Founder Andrew Smith told ARLnow that, when it acquired a majority position in the company, keeping Mostafavi on was a non-negotiable.

“He’s done an incredible job leading this team to the successful level that he has,” Smith said. “He absolutely stands, amongst his peers, way ahead [in] the way that he runs [South Block], and I think it’s because he’s been patient: He hasn’t worried really about growing as fast as he can. He’s been growing as methodically as he can.”

Mostafavi started South Block with its first location in Clarendon, naming the company after its position on the south side of the block, near Trader Joe’s. As the juicery added locations, all within the D.C. area, Mostafavi started searching for a capital partner in 2022 to help him continue to expand the business.

“We’ve done what I think is a great job getting us to 15 locations and we could probably navigate on our own getting to 50, but to have a partner that… has your back, that will support you and that you can learn from just makes the journey feel a lot more relaxed and attainable,” Mostafavi said. “Any time as an entrepreneur that you can try to reduce some of the pressure and stress, that’s a good thing.”

Mostafavi says he was drawn to the Savory Fund after their initial introduction.

“They’re just great people, they genuinely care about the founder of their portfolio brands, the culture and that’s what they go looking for is brands that have a great fan base, a great company culture, that are founder driven, that put people first and that’s what I was looking for,” he said.

The Utah-based investment group says it “specializes in taking fast casual and polished casual food and beverage concepts” and scaling them “into 30-unit+ powerhouse brands.” Smith, Savory Fund’s co-founder, told ARLnow he wants to maintain South Block’s cult following amid the planned expansion.

“More important than scale, where we add dozens more units, we want to grow the business from within and make sure that we grow the base of our cult following and the locations we currently have,” he said.

By focusing on South Block’s leadership ranks and its business processes, he said, Savory Fund will help it “continue to maintain the great business that it is and continue to maintain the cult following that we have within South Block, and continue to maintain that leadership presence, especially in the Northeast.”

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring Three Ballston Plaza

Ballston-based human resources startup PerformYard has nabbed a $95 million equity investment from Updata Partners, a D.C.-based growth equity firm.

PerformYard, which offers companies employee performance management software that handles everything from annual reviews to quarterly goals, announced the investment earlier this month.

The investment from Updata, which invests in business-to-business software-driven companies, caps off other recent windfalls for PerformYard. Its revenue grew by five times over the last four years, launched a new product last summer and, last spring, was ranked first in the category of “Highest Satisfaction Software” by G2, a peer-to-peer review site.

Now, bolstered by the $95 million investment, PerformYard intends to hire more staff across all departments. Right now, it has eight full-time positions open, per its website.

“We are thrilled to partner with Updata as we embark on our next phase of growth in solving performance management challenges,” PerformYard Founder and CEO Ben Hastings said in a statement. “Given the incredible success and growth our team has realized in recent years, I view this partnership as a natural evolution of our business to support continued development and expansion.”

PerformYard logo (via PerformYard/Facebook)

Hastings founded PerformYard in 2013 to help organizations improve employee performance through better management and improvements to standard practices within human resources, such as performance reviews. For instance, notes PerformYard, 93% of organizations run employee performance reviews but almost the same percentage of HR leaders, 90%, are unhappy with their process.

“We identified a critical need for employers to better manage, coach, retain and progress talent throughout their organizations,” Hastings said. “Over the last 10 years, we have seen the emphasis on employee performance and engagement deepen significantly. Our plan is to continue building our organization to support these critical initiatives.”

Updata General Partner Carter Griffin, who will join PerformYard’s Board of Directors, complimented Hastings and the PerformYard team for its exceptional performance in recent years.

“With PerformYard, we see an opportunity to win in a large and important category,” he said in a statement. “We are excited to help further scale the company.”

Photo via PerformYard/Facebook

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring Three Ballston Plaza

One of Arlington’s only urban farms, Fresh Impact Farms, is continuing to enjoy success catering to the taste buds of high-end D.C. restaurants, from Seven Reasons to Oyster, Oyster.

Founded in 2017, the urban agriculture startup in a strip mall on Langston Blvd has experienced significant growth in the last year. With support from a state grant, it doubled the size of its indoor farm and began reaping the benefits of this expansion last year, says founder Ryan Pierce. As a result, its sales grew rapidly in 2023 — a pattern Pierce says he hopes to continue going into 2024.

“If 2024 goes as well as we hope it’s going to go, we’ll start looking for additional expansion space, with the goal of staying here in Arlington,” he said. “We have rather unique needs for real estate… [and Arlington] keeps us really close to our primary clientele.”

That has been and always will be D.C.’s pioneering chefs in the fine dining scene, who Pierce says are “the first movers in terms of new trends in food.”

This drives Fresh Impact Farms to keep trying out dozens of new and uncommon varieties of edible succulents and herbs as well as different color combinations of rare, edible flowers. Overall, the farm is home to well over 400 varieties of crops, he said.

Fresh Impact Farms growing area in a strip mall on Langston Blvd (courtesy photo)

“We’re always introducing new products,” Pierce said. “That’s something they expect. They’re always asking us, ‘What’s new? What can we get from you that we couldn’t get from you in the summer?’ Half of our job is finding out what we should be growing and then our team has to figure out how to grow it.”

Pushing the boundaries of edible plants requires highly skilled staff, he noted.

Fresh Impact Farms is taking a more modest, or cautious, approach to growth when it comes to adding clients — too many would strain his farm’s production levels — and incorporating new tech.

“There’s always the initial push to make everything as complicated as possible and get as much tech into the farm as possible,” Pierce said. “What we’ve found is that sometimes, the human approach works better. While we automate watering, lighting and climate control, we don’t automate harvest or seeding. For those, we’ve found, it’s better to have a human touch.”

Beyond Fresh Impact Farms, Arlington has one other urban farm, Area 2 Farms, located in a brick industrial building in Green Valley. While neither is in an office building, Arlington County has taken steps to make it easier for urban farmers to begin growing plants in vacant, underused and outdated office spaces by loosening its zoning restrictions.

Like the county, Pierce — who sits on Arlington’s Industrial Development Authority — says he is constantly thinking about how Arlington can fill its office space. Upfront building conversion costs, however, might make it difficult for more farms to take advantage of these looser zoning rules.

“How do you adjust the centralized HVAC to accommodate plants over people? While the temperature and humidity is about the same you’d want it in your house, the systems in which you do that are completely different. It’s a much different challenge than someone people realize,” he said.

The county has to attract new talent and to its credit, is doing so via its Innovation Fund, he said.

“As far as putting farms, that’s a real big challenge,” he said. “Ultimately, it’s one of those things where I want to look for solutions but it doesn’t mean my business is the solution for that particular problem.”

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring Three Ballston Plaza

A Courthouse-based company that aims to make websites more accessible has acquired another company in a deal valued at $99 million.

The deal between Level Access, of Arlington, and UserWay, a 7-year-old Israeli digital accessibility startup that went public on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange last year, was announced last week. The Times of Israel reported Level Access is paying $98.7 million to UserWay shareholders as part of a cash deal.

Founded 25 years ago by CEO Tim Springer, Level Access works to improve digital accessibility for people with disabilities by helping companies comply with an increasing number of regulations surrounding the accessibility of websites, smartphone apps and other digital experiences.

The acquisition of UserWay is the second such business maneuver in two years for Level Access, which merged with Toronto-based eSSENTIAL Accessibility in 2022.

Springer, who says he has spent and his entire career in accessibility, outlined in a lengthy LinkedIn post how incorporating the technology solutions UserWay offers will help Level Access realize improve accessibility across the digital landscape.

UserWay uses automation to make websites more accessible through the use of “overlays” — the same technology used to add pop-up cookie consent tools to virtually every website. These coding scripts automatically fix common accessibility issues and change the appearance and structure of a page to function better for people with disabilities, per Springer’s post.

Level Access CEO Tim Springer (courtesy photo)

The accessibility community, however, has historically criticized overlays for falsely promising a quick, easy, one-size-fits-all solution, he said.

Despite these misgivings, Springer says he has watched this controversial technology grow over the last two decades and today considers it “an amazing part of an overall solution for accessibility.”

“If we’re thoughtful and deliberate in their use — implementing overlays in an ethical fashion — we will drastically accelerate the timeline for the creation of an accessible digital world,” Springer said in his LinkedIn post. “We can remain mired in historical biases against these technologies or use them to accelerate the cause of accessibility. We choose the latter.”

The technology would be especially helpful for smaller website owners who do not have the funds or technical expertise to develop a comprehensive digital accessibility program, he said.

“Level Access can either provide a principled, compelling, cost-effective solution they can say ‘yes’ to today, and get started on accessibility, or keep doing little for these firms,” he said. “If we’re smart about it, that starting point will materially improve the accessibility of these sites today. Now. Not in ten years when they’re big enough to do it ‘right.’ Not when we’ve exhausted their desire to do the right thing with an approach they can’t take on.”

While the digital accessibility industry has seen many technologies come and go — some that worked and some that did not — the need for automated solutions is here to stay, Springer said.

“Millions of websites rely on automated remediation technology today, so this is clearly a requirement the market is demanding,” he said. “We’re excited to play a role in bringing that technology to organizations around the world in an effective, impactful fashion.”

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring Three Ballston Plaza

By the time Arlington native Roger Nowakowski graduated from Yorktown High School, he had already founded and sold his first startup venture.

Nowakowski, who grew up in the Woodmont neighborhood, built an app for people trying to get their hands on the next hot product in the luxury goods market — especially sneakerheads. He founded it at 16, as a high school sophomore when he was stuck at home at the height of the pandemic.

Limited-edition shoes from brands such as Nike and Adidas sell out online within seconds, which he says made it borderline impossible for a human to manually buy the product. His app allowed users to, for instance, purchase a single pair or mass quantities of shoes at the press of a button.

“Sneaker resellers would use my product to buy these hyped sneakers on drop in mass, to then sell on the aftermarket for profit,” he said noting, sneakers can sometimes sell at 10 times their retail price on the aftermarket.

Some 1,500 paying users made more than $1.4 million in purchases through the app before he sold it in 2021, when he was 17 years old. He graduated from Yorktown a year later and went straight into coding for other projects.

“I felt more alive than ever through the pursuit of knowledge out of genuine curiosity in areas I was passionate about,” he said. “After exiting from my first project, I was extremely eager to get back to work.”

For the next two years, he would work with a Miami-based team on a blockchain app for music artists. Now, he is a founding engineer at Waves, a venture capital-backed platform connecting brands looking to advertise with social media influencers.

It launched on the App Store this September, the Denver Business Journal reported.

From left: Josh Jacobs, Allison Swope, Bruce Weaver, Roger Nowakowski and Justin Schwartz (courtesy photo)

“I was the first engineer and employee hire,” said Nowakowski. A colleague referred him to the founder of Waves, Bruce Weaver, when the platform was just an idea.

Typically, brands select leading influencers to make paid promotional posts to market their products. Waves allows people with smaller Instagram and TikTok followings to buy products from participating brands — at a discount — if they make promotional content within two weeks. Brands then pay creators based on how well this content does.

Waves is poised for significant growth next year, Nowakowski said.

“We’re setting ambitious milestones; 100,000 creators and processing over $1 million in total creator payouts,” he said. “We want to expand the creator economy while delivering unparalleled returns on ad spend for brands leveraging [user-generated content].”

Nowakowski credits his computer science teacher at Yorktown for helping him launch his first app — and thus, his career.

“At the time, Mr. [Greg] Rusk made an effort to align what we were learning in [computer science] with what I was building personally,” he said. “Not only was he a great teacher, but given his experience building software, he was easily relatable to, and guided me on the right path in class.”

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring Three Ballston Plaza

Arlington-based WireWheel has been acquired by Osano, a data privacy management company out of Austin, Texas.

Osano, which aims to simplify the process of building and managing data privacy programs for companies, is not disclosing the financial terms of the acquisition.

A majority of WireWheel’s employees are joining Osano, though some employees weren’t offered new roles because of redundancies between the businesses, a spokeswoman told ARLnow.

Other top brass, including its founder Justin Antonipillai — the former Acting Undersecretary of Economic Affairs at the U.S. Department of Commerce under President Barack Obama — will not continue with Osano, either.

“The founders will not be staying on as part of the acquisition,” the Osano spokeswoman said. “However, WireWheel’s head of Data Privacy will be joining Osano’s customer facing teams to help our customers successfully implement our solutions.”

WireWheel declined to comment for this story and deferred to Osano CEO Arlo Gilbert.

Founded in 2016, the Courthouse-based startup provides companies with privacy assessment tools to keep up with the ever-evolving regulatory environment surrounding data privacy, which varies greatly by country and state.

These platforms show customers what data they collect on customers and how that data is used, while allowing customers the ability to access or delete this data or indicate they do not want it sold. Two years ago, the startup raised some $200 million to speed up its go-to-market plans and market its products to small and mid-sized companies.

Banner announcing Osano has acquired WireWheel (via Osano/Facebook)

Gilbert, Osano’s CEO, says this is the first of an expected 12 acquisitions in the coming 18 months, involving $100 million, to transform the data privacy market.

“This acquisition is high-impact for Osano and WireWheel’s customers because the two companies’ solutions complement one another so well,” Gilbert said in a statement. “Adding WireWheel’s technology to our platform delivers major advantages for enterprise customers, who will benefit from the scalability, customizability, customer experience and advanced features that address the needs of deploying data privacy programs at scale.”

The Courthouse startup’s tools will also give Osano clients extra confidence while pursuing AI initiatives, per the press release.

Companies that train AI models with large data sets have to ensure the data is free of personal information. Inadvertently including private information in these sets is a costly mistake, as these expensive AI models then have to be destroyed.

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that spotlights Arlington-based startups, founders, and local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring Three Ballston Plaza

Arlington-based cookie company MOLTN Cookies opened its newest location today (Monday) in Ashburn, just in time for National Cookie Day.

To celebrate, the new location in a pizza and pasta place called EATaliano will offer free triple chocolate cookies — limited to one per visitor, while supplies last — from 4-6 p.m.

Customers who splurge and put in orders exceeding $75, meanwhile, will get a free sugar or s’mores cookie-scented candle.

“We only have 20, so grab them quick,” the company says on Instagram. “We can’t wait to celebrate together.”

MOLTN’s cookie-scented candles (courtesy photo)

The location started operating two months behind its anticipated opening date of Oct. 1.

It is MOLTN’s third in the D.C. area, after the company debuted in a “ghost kitchen” within AllSpice Catering at 6017 Wilson Blvd, near the border with Falls Church. Over the summer, it expanded into D.C., operating from Teddy & The Bully Bar at 1200 19th Street NW.

The Ashburn cooke hub kicks off what MOLTN founder Neal Miglani says is the start of an expansion across the D.C. area., including three forthcoming locations in Maryland: Prince George’s and Montgomery counties and Baltimore.

“We are thrilled to bring the MOLTN Cookies brand to Ashburn and beyond,” Miglani said in a statement. “The excitement around our new location at Eataliano signals the start of an even more exciting phase for us as we plan to expand across the DMV area. Soon, more communities will be able to enjoy the MOLTN Cookies experience.”

He told ARLnow he aims to open 10 new locations by the second quarter of 2024, in the D.C. and Baltimore areas.

He aims these locations to soon bake the 12,000-15,0000 cookies MOLTN’s Arlington location churns out each month.

The company transitioned from operating ghost kitchens to what Miglani says is a licensing model. Restaurant partners purchase MOLTN’s cookie dough from approved suppliers in its distribution network.

“We provide the dough and all technology, they handle the operations and retain all profits, a strategy that propels rapid expansion while upholding the excellence MOLTN Cookies is known for,” Miglani says.

MOLTN cookies (courtesy photo)

Other new ventures are coming down the pike, too.

Miglani says MOLTN is creating a gifting platform that allows customers to send freshly baked, warm cookies to others, along with personalized items such as candles and cards. The company is on the cusp of launching nationwide shipping.

These developments could be coming late in the first quarter of next year or early in the second quarter, Miglani said.

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring Three Ballston Plaza

Ballston-based Federated Wireless is working with a university to secure 5G networks for U.S. soldiers and government operatives while abroad in possibly hostile countries.

It aims to develop a product that can secure 5G networks all over the world — even networks that are deployed by “potentially adversarial nations,” according to a press release.

That way, Americans abroad, whether in the military or part of a non-governmental organization, can use these networks without risking critical information falling into the hands of bad actors.

“The goal of the work is to ensure a range of users, from U.S. soldiers to commercial enterprises, can use 5G cellular networks in other countries, without those countries being able to extract valuable operational information,” Federated Wireless Chief Technology Officer Kurt Schaubach said in a statement.

Federated Wireless was selected to be the business partner for researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder leading the 2-year project, dubbed 5G Hidden Operations through Securing Traffic, or GHOST.

GHOST will explore disguising and anonymizing user identities, locations and traffic to prevent surveillance and analysis by hostile parties, the release said.

“This work is important for the United States because it inherently is about keeping our people safe,” said Eric Keller, a project researcher and CU Boulder associate professor, in a press release. “I’ve had the great fortune of being able to advise students at CU Boulder who were in the military, and hearing stories of situations they’ve been in really hits home the impact that GHOST could help keep them safer.”

The GHOST team (courtesy Federated Wireless)

The university and Federated Wireless recently received a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation for the project.

The duo received a $750,000 NSF grant in September 2022 to fund the initial development of the technology. The $5 million grant will fund further work to develop a single prototype. At the end of the project, Federated Wireless and the university will decide what makes sense to commercialize.

“We’re excited to see where the research leads,” a spokeswoman for Federated Wireless told ARLnow.

Lead CU Boulder researcher Keith Gremban says Federated Wireless is the right partner for the project because it will provide valuable communications expertise and can rapidly build prototypes of “cutting-edge 5G concepts.”

“Their involvement helps enable us to build a prototype capable of securing 5G communications in the most difficult environments,” he said in a statement.

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring Three Ballston Plaza

Almost a year after its last merger, Arlington-based IT company C3 Integrated Solutions celebrated another major consolidation.

Last week, C3 announced its merger with Ingalls Information Security, a company based in Woodworth, Louisiana specializing in cybersecurity risk management for the defense industry.

C3 CEO Marc Pantoni says the merger is a response to evolving industry requirements concerning cybersecurity.

“Given how tightly integrated cybersecurity has become with day-to-day IT operations and compliance requirements, we believe it critical that we offer top-tier cybersecurity services that as part of our portfolio,” he wrote in a blog post.

The merger brings combines Ingalls’ expertise in Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) — a Dept. of Defense (DoD) benchmark for cybersecurity in government-contracted companies — with C3’s managed IT and Microsoft Cloud solutions, according to a separate blog post by Ingalls CEO and founder Jason Ingalls.

“With this merger, our clients can now turn to a single service partner for all their needs without sacrificing quality of service,” Pantoni said. “That means a single source of accountability, increased cost efficiencies, and fewer partners to manage.”

Banner announcing merger of C3 and Ingalls Information Security (via LinkedIn/C3 Integrated Solutions)

The merger, akin to last year’s, aims to help clients navigate new Dept. of Defense guidelines which were recently updated to ensure contractors and subcontractors comply with stringent cybersecurity standards to safeguard sensitive, unclassified information.

“With CMMC soon becoming a baseline contractual requirement, defense contractors are looking for a partner to support them through their entire compliance journey,” the joint release said.

“As cybersecurity, IT, and compliance become increasingly intertwined, members of the DIB can now turn to C3 as a single managed services partner for all their IT, cybersecurity, and compliance needs without sacrificing quality of service,” the release continued.

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